With each and every investment that you make, you're going to be giving up one benefit in exchange for another. Most of the time, this trade-off is between risk and potential return. Understanding this trade-off at a conceptual level will go a long way in helping you to select the right investments (or strategies) on your path to retirement.
Article Category: Investment Insights
The unfortunate reality is that nothing in this world is certain. In fact, the only thing in life that is certain ... is that nothing is certain. This is especially true when we talk about money and investing. Since we can't deal with certainties, we're forced to deal with probabilities. Therefore, probabilities become the lens through which we must view all things investment related.
You've heard of the gender pay gap, but are you aware of the gender investing gap? Put simply, women do not invest to the same extent that men do. As a result, when retirement rolls around, women end up with only two-thirds as much money in their portfolios. This is a BIG problem, especially when you consider that women in the U.S. tend to live on average 6.5 years longer than their male counterparts.
Anyone who's been around for longer than a couple of decades knows that stocks can lose a lot of value quickly. These periods, when stock prices are falling, can be classified into two types of declines: corrections, and bear markets. Understanding the difference between these is critical, because the former represent minor speed bumps on the way to higher prices, while the latter can wreck your entire portfolio and set you back years from reaching your retirement goals.
As you begin to set aside money for retirement, one of the first and most critical decisions you'll face is what type of account to put that money in. Should you contribute to your 401(k) first? Or is paying down debt a better idea? What about an IRA or a 529 plan? Should you be contributing to those as well? And what do mason jars and your mattress have to do with any of this? These are the types of questions we'll attempt to answer as we explore the most effective way to save for retirement.